February 2023

God, our guide in wilderness and testing,

in Jesus Christ you show us the fast you choose:

the practice of justice and compassion.

Teach us to follow him in through and grace,

receiving our reward with your saints in glory;

through Christ, the treasure of our hearts. Amen.

Online Art of Transitional Ministry Training:

Week 2 Training

April 17-21, 2023

Week 2 training focuses specifically on the leadership of a person in a pastoral role serving in a ministerial context characterized by transition. This can be any ministry that is consciously seeking to work with the change that is being experienced or is anticipated (whether in leadership, culture, context, and ministry).

This is a weeklong course includes presentations by faculty and guest presenters as well as small group Leadership Learning Conversations. We request that arrangements be made in advance for coverage of pastoral responsibilities so that participants can focus fully on this program.

Click here for additional information and registration.

Leadership Summit, April 25-27, 2023

The Leadership Summit, held each spring, is an opportunity for presbytery commission/committee leaders who work with congregations and pastoral leaders as well as presbytery staff to gather with national and Synod staff for learning and networking. This year's summit will be held at Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, Minn. Check here for registration information.

Microinterventions to dismantle everyday racism 

by Danny Elenz, PsyD, LP, LeaderWise

I play in a weekly billiards league, and our team captain is Black. He is regularly called the wrong name by opposing players, mistaken for another Black man in the league. Being mistaken for someone else can happen to anyone, but in majority-white spaces, it happens to people of color more frequently.

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Derald Wing Su -

Microaggressions in Everyday Life

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PC(USA) pastors and other leaders offer a public apology that was centuries in the making | Presbyterian Mission Agency

During a service in Lansing, Michigan, an evangelist who picked cotton as a child explains what the apology means to her

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Late last month dozens of white clergy from churches and mid councils, elected officials and other leaders in Lansing, Michigan, gathered at the Reachout Christian Center Church to apologize to the African American community for slavery and its aftermath. Among the participants was the Rev. Jermaine Ross-Allam, director of the PC(USA)’s Center for the Repair of Historic Harms.

Photo: Evangelist Annie C. Foreman of Reachout Christian Center Church, at right, spoke movingly last month during a service of apology for the sin of slavery and its aftermath. (Contributed photo)

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The PC(USA)'s advocacy director engages New York Avenue Presbyterian Church crowd with his scholarship on Black protest

As the speaker Wednesday for New York Avenue Presbyterian Church's McClendon Scholar-in-Residence Program, the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, who leads the PC(USA)'s Office of Public Witness and is the denomination's advocacy director, spent the first half-hour talking about his book, "Unbroken and Unbowed: A History of Black Protest in America."

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Engaging in Matthew 25


Lisa Lynne Kirkpatrick

Being Connected and Cared For is how Rev. Lisa Lynne Kirkpatrick thinks of Empowered Servant Leadership. Now an Associate at Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church and newly ordained minister, Lisa Lynne comes into ministry with years spent in the church as member, elder, and non-pastoral staff. Her rich experience in the church informs how her leadership has been empowered and how she seeks to empower others and it's all tied to Caring Relationships and ongoing growth in our Lifelong Discipleship.

Check out the information and resources on Congregational Vitality and Matthew 25 available on the Presbytery of Milwaukee's website.

JUST SAY YES, a Conversation with Elders Judy Jaggard and Lee Tan

Just Say Yes is the final interview in our Empowered Servant Leadership series. Elders Judy Jaggard and Lee Tan have a long history serving not only their congregations but also the Presbytery and PC(USA). They share what they love about being part of the presbytery and what keeps them saying yes when asked to serve. For more interviews and resources on Empowered Servant Leadership visit And stayed tuned for our coming series on Ecclesial Health.

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Restorative Actions

February News

Eco-Palms order deadline

March 10, 2023

Why order Eco-Palms?

*Approximately 300 million palm fronds are consumed in the United States annually.

*Eco-palms are purchased directly from harvesters at five to six times the normal payment per frond.

*Your purchase of eco-palms helps improve standards of living and protect forests.

Pricing & Ordering Information

Five themes LeaderWise hears

and why they are the death of the church

by Rev. Cindy Halvorson, MDiv, DMin

Note: This article may or may not apply to your context. At the time of its writing, this commentary represents Christian mainline denominational churches in the USA. While each church is unique in its experiences, certain themes have been observed by LeaderWise consultants. We recently had a conversation about our observations. This article is a result of that conversation.

As I sat with yet another group of lay leaders, an older pillar-of-the-congregation persisted with his question. “What is the future of the church? Do you think we will ever get back to what we used to be?” He remembered the sanctuary being full on Sundays while the organ played, the choir sang, and young parents tried to keep their children from squirming in their seats. Yet, time had passed and the numbers had dwindled, both in attendance and finances. Difficult decisions faced this group of lay leaders and the gentleman wanted straight answers. Others on the committee stared at me as the question hung in the air. Their faces showed hopefulness; their eyes showed fear.

While none of us knows what the future will bring, I think people do know that we cannot return to the past. The desire to recreate what has brought joy and fulfillment leads many congregations to chase former experiences and cling to what worked “before.” When the pews don’t fill, anxiety rises and we hear the same themes repeatedly.

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What if ...

It was one of those high holy days and 96-year-old elder was sitting on the bench near the coat alcove after it had been emptied of its temporary contents, the hullabaloo having dissipated as quickly as it had developed a few hours earlier. He looked exhausted, and I imagine he was. He did his part to greet all those other long-time members he had come to know so well. In fact, he was rather the glue that held them all together. Those who remained, anyway.

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PC(USA) positions - Current openings

Presbyterian Foundation - Work for the Foundation

Church Ministries and Outreach Coordinator position available

Bdecan Presbyterian Church, Tokio, ND (on Spirit Lake Reservation) and PNP Bdecan Ministry Team is seeking an individual or couple to fill our Church Ministries and Outreach Coordinator position at Bdecan on a full time basis.

We are looking for an energetic person to lead worship, plan lessons and coordinate volunteers to teach Sunday School during Sunday morning worship, plan and implement various holiday parties and giveaways, promote Summer Church Camp Program, work with Mission Teams, reaching out to churches in Presbyterian Church and beyond to spread the story and do fund raising to maintain position and Food Pantry, update social media and website, coordinate food pantry and clothing closet by maintain records for Great Food Bank - order food - coordinate volunteers to work the day of food pantry.

For any information or to apply, send resume and cover letter to Donna Preston at Hoping to fill position by May 2023 but is open until person is hired.

Unique part time position: A New Type of Circuit Rider


The Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys is excited about a new opportunity to serve churches within the presbytery. Throughout the denomination, it is taking longer for churches, particularly small rural ones, to fill their pulpits. Minnesota Valleys has many such churches, especially in the southwest corner of the state. To help them through these difficult transitions, the Presbytery is looking for an experienced Teaching Elder for a one-third-time staff position. The primary duty of the Circuit Rider will be to provide pulpit supply and moderate sessions for vacant churches in the Presbytery. Even if it is just visiting churches on a monthly basis, the desire is for the pastor to build a relationship with the church rather than just serve as the guest pastor, as well as strengthen the church’s connection with the Presbytery. Please contact Beth Buckwalter-Miller, the Presbytery Executive, for more information. A complete job description is available.

The Sower

Newsletter of the Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes & Prairies, February, 2023 issue.

Click here.

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'Spirit Car:

Journey to a Dakota Past'

Join the Presbyterian Women in the Synod for their next book study.

Dates: March 20 & April 3

Daytime study at 1:30-2:30 PM (CDT)

Evening study at 6:30-7:30 PM (CDT)

Open to all interested women and men across the Synod. The groups meet via Zoom on computer or phone. No charge to participate, however registration is required. Contact Marilyn Stone

This book study is led by members of the PWS Native American Concerns Committee.

Books on anti-racism 📚

Eye-opening and practical books on anti-racism.

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41st Rural Ministry Conference & Opportunity to host international pastors

The Rural Ministry Conference is a ecumenical conference hosted by Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque Iowa for over 45 years. This year we are joined by international delegates from the International Rural Churches Association, bringing an international perspective to the discussion. 

The Rural Ministry Conference will be held this year on April 16 -18 in Dubuque, Iowa. The theme for this ecumenical conference is "Flourishing: Land, People and Communities." The Bible tells us that God is a God of abundance but it is hard to ignore society's message of scarcity. We will be joined by delegates from the International Rural Churches Association to look at what flourishing means in our own and global contexts. For more information, please go to

The International Rural Churches Association is holding their quadrennial meeting April 13-19 in Dubuque, Iowa, and holding some joint sessions with Wartburg Theological Seminary's Rural Ministry Conference. The international pastors have indicated that they would like to experience and talk with rural congregations in the US.

We are looking for some congregations within two or three hours of Dubuque who would be willing to host one or more of these delegates for a rural immersion experience April 15 & 16. Many of the delegates have indicated a willingness to either preach or share what rural ministry is like in their home country. If you are interested in more details please contact Barbara Fritschel, local arrangements chair.

Using the assets we have: Innovation in ministry

A webinar that names some of the challenges that face the church and explores how we can innovate to meet them.

Find out more!

Teen Mental Health & Church Culture webinar

Ministry Lab

The last couple of years have been tough for church workers, kids, and families - not to mention the church workers who serve them.

The Ministry Lab invites all youth ministry leaders, clergy, and mentors who work with tweens, teens, and their families to join Melissa Weinhandl, LMFT, MATh, for a 90-minute conversational webinar in which to process personal struggles and find information and tools to support mental health for one's self and those we serve.

Learn more and register here.

This webinar is free for all Ministry Lab members (MN UCC, UMC, and PC(USA) congregations and members). Due to the potential for sharing personal and sensitive information, this webinar will not be recorded. Join in person at United Theological Seminary or via Zoom (the link will be shared upon registration).

It’s Time to Act! (TM)

a forum series of the YWCA of Minneapolis

Rhetoric of Hate:

White Violence & White Silence

Tuesday, March 14, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mpls

cost is $25

More information & Registration

Growing Through Grief

An experiential opportunity for processing grief through music, art, movement, nature, prayer, and meditation at Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center. In addition, participants can meet briefly with a therapist, spiritual director, or pastor for support and consultation throughout the day.

Find out more & register here.

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Before we go ...

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A pocket mouse received a Guinness World Record as the world's oldest mouse.

News For has the story.

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